Presenting the OT2.5

This is so going to stir things up, I’ll probably hide under the desk a day or two after I’ve said it, but after many hours of writing myself into, out of and through it, looking at it from every possible angle I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me anyway, Jack/D/R is an OT2.5.

I can imagine (though not actually write) them having the most wonderful time as a threesome. And I find D/J absolutely beautiful and totally right. The one I can’t get my head around is Jack and Rose without the Doctor. I have read some fantastic fic about it and what I’m about to say is absolutely not a comment on the quality of those works. But my reaction to the pairing is always detached – kind of, okay that works in the context of the story, but I personally don’t ship them.

No, that’s not quite accurate. I think Jack and Rose love each other to bits as friends and there’s clearly sexual chemistry between them. Also, Jack’s a character who tends to express himself sexually, sometimes to the exclusion of other forms of intimacy. For me (and it’s a personal opinion which I don’t automatically expect anybody to share if they don’t want to) the issue is the nature of the D/R ship. And that comes down to the way I read the Doctor as a character.

I see him as a very vulnerable person who clings to Rose as a lifebelt, even more so post-Doomsday (assuming it happens). So much so that I think he’d be almost too demanding for her to handle long-term without some release. It probably says something about my own attitude to physical relationships that the release wouldn’t be sex with another partner, for her, but for the Doctor to have a second partner .

For me, the centre of Rose and Jack’s life isn’t their love for one another, but their love for the Doctor. It’s the deepest bond they share. And they offer him different, but complimentary, things. Rose is the nurturer, the one who brings him down to his emotional core. Jack has gone through so much of the same kind of pain as the Doctor and understands why he approaches things the way he does. Together, Rose and Jack lighten him up and give him friendship and a wonderful grounding. If either one of them, alone, was in a relationship with him, it wouldn’t be as complete. We saw Ten/Rose exclusively in S2 – enough said. And although I imagine Jack/Ten having interludes of fantastic physical and emotional closeness from time to time, they both understand each other’s defence mechanisms too well for that to become a permanent relationship without Rose’s presence.

I don’t imagine Rose having any problem with Jack and Ten having a physical relationship, quite the reverse in fact. She loves them both deeply and would rejoice at them getting something they so clearly needed. Particularly as she’ll eventually age and die. But I think Ten would be too emotionally vulnerable to handle Rose sleeping with Jack. It’s just the way I see him. He wouldn’t admit it, he’d say it was fine with him, of course, but it wouldn’t be, and therein lies the danger. Rose would know that, and even if Jack didn’t agree I think he’d accept her decision.

The interesting thing is I’ve never read a single reading of the threesome that reflects my own. Maybe people are scared it sounds anti-gay or narrow-minded or something, but it’s not. I’m fine with the slash and the OT3. It’s just a matter of how I see the characters and it’d be interesting to see if anyone else understands or agrees. Of course, there may be people who feel angry with me for casting Rose in the sacrificing female role, because I’m sure that she’d enjoy a relationship with Jack enormously if she didn’t feel it was hurting the Doctor too much. It’s just, I think she would.

Couple of interesting things in this week’s Radio Times. Every year they hold a party for everyone who’s been on the RT cover the past year, and clearly Tennant is the star guest with a total of five. John Simm is there in two capacities, too – last year was the peak of LoM. Rather sweetly, he talks about watching “Ashes to Ashes” exactly the way Billie Piper talked about watching Who without her in it. Freema’s there too, looking lovely, and David really should be encouraged not to impersonate Elvis in public. Billie Piper had a cover that year too (for BdJ) but there’s no sign of her.

Just for those who are mourning John B’s absence from the party (it covers 2007 and TW premiered in November 06) there is a rather lovely picture of him promoting the audiobook of “Anything Goes” – I know what I’ll be doing my ironing too soon……but we digress.

David says he’s taking the whole of May off before Hamlet kicks in, then returning after it finishes for the 2009 specials. Way I read that, the 2008 Xmas special will be put to bed before May. They’re still filming S4 right now and it starts in late March, so by then it’ll be finished. Of course he could be doing something completely different in April, but considering who’s likely to be hanging around in Cardiff at the time, I do hope they’re starting up the snow machine for a bit of Yuletide fluff.

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18 thoughts on “Presenting the OT2.5

  1. To some degree, I agree with your summation of the OT3. I absolutely agree that the Doctor would feel vulnerable. I think that really stems back to that whole “last one left out in the cold” thing mentioned in season 1. But I think as that relationship (Jack/Doctor/Rose) he’d be able to handle it better.
    I’ve seen your opinion in people who don’t really like Ot3 because they can’t see it happening. Specifically, a lot of the hardcore Doctor/Rose shippers say that the Doctor would be too jealous, or to possessive to be in that kind of a relationship; that he loves Rose too much to let Jack in. I often find myself alone in a crowd in liking Jack/Doctor/Rose.
    btw: I’m really loving Life in Cardiff. And I love the dynamic between Jack and Ten and Rose, and how it’s not perfect, and that their having very realistic problems. Can’t wait to read more of it!

  2. You do it well. Put my jumble of thoughts into a nice concise package that makes sense. I’ve seen a lot of relationships that are non-sexual and yet you know there is deep love there. So I can imagine your world of Jack/Rose/Doctor as a very real situation.
    Simm pics…we need more of them on this side of the ocean!!! We get a lot of Tennant thanks to DWM but now that Simm is not associated with the new season (yet??) he has faded. /sigh I need a fix.

  3. I think the Doctor/Jack part of that (with an eye to when Rose is gone) makes sense, actually, even if personally I’m not 100% sure I buy it.
    But a 2.5 Doctor/Rose/Jack scenario might actually be quite interesting to read about, now I think about it.

  4. Oh come on, you aren’t alone for liking them as a threesome, there are whole communities dedicated to it. They’d have a blast.
    Having been in a situation where my own partner suspected me of infidelity (I had an online emotional involvement) I think the real problem is the fear of the male left in the cold – they can rationalise it all they like but fear kills happy and honest relationships. I imagine that if he knew Rose was sleeping with Jack the Doctor would say fine but go very quiet and angsty, and that would ruin it for them.
    Glad you’re enjoying the story, and congrats on the job.

  5. I can see OT2.5
    I know Nine was vulnerable and became very possessive of Rose when there was the hint of other men to take her affections – it was always Rose who invited people on board. Yet it was a role reversal with Ten, where he was happy to invite Mickey and Reinette while Rose wasn’t best pleased about the decision at the time. But by Doomsday, Rose’s parting wish is that the Doctor shouldn’t be alone, and you’re right that Jack fills that role nicely in terms of longevity and understanding. Still, at the end of LotTL, Jack knows he’s not the one to get the Doctor to open up and move on, so he leaves, to prove an immortal man can have a mortal, stationary lover, in Torchwood.
    It’s funny. In my ‘Rose on the Valiant’ story, Jack still leaves. He jokes that he can’t be with Rose and the Doctor as he sees them as his ‘parents’, and even in his time the thoughts he has of them was taboo. There’s also the established boundary set up in the Doctor Dances that Rose is off limits to Jack. Indeed, Ten is possessive of Rose in New Earth when she is ‘taken’ from him.
    But always it’s what’s best for the Doctor. The question we never ask is of Rose’s happiness (how desperately she wants a shag), as her empathy turns her into an emotional sponge. Rose lost her ‘back up’ when Mickey left. The Doctor could pretend with her for the rest of her days, like he did for the latter part of season two. I wonder if Rose was a sponge with Jimmy Stone, that she wouldn’t leave because there was nothing better (at the time).
    Someone needs to poke the Doctor into opening up, like I thought Martha was going to do in Gridlock. Sadly, that being followed by the Daleks (‘I lose everything’) put the Doctor’s barriers higher than ever. I hope no-nonsense Donna can batter some sense into him. It may dent my shipper cred to say I don’t think Rose is the person to do it – she cares for him too deeply now to push him somewhere he’s not comfortable going. His pain is her pain. She’d much rather stand by him quietly and hold his hand while he walks to things at his pace, when he’s ready. But why would he face that pain when Rose let him forget about it and run away?
    Donna won’t let him get away with it. I think she’ll be the one to show him that he’s dangerous and not fun while he’s got so much emotional cr*p bottled up. Donna will release it. The Doctor will control it. Rose will heal it. Jack will stand by it. And then we’ll see Rose’s reaction when Jack becomes pregnant by the Doctor.

  6. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    I’d like to add some meta. In John Barrowman’s autobiography, he talks about his enforced gap from season two of Doctor Who. It was done so the new lead man, David Tennant, could establish himself without competition from Capt. Jack.
    Combine this thought with the canon that Jack is the Face of Boe. This is either a huge retcon, or the Doctor didn’t get squick vibes when Jack didn’t look like the fact he knows. So I postulate that the Doctor didn’t really leave Jack because he was wrong. He left Jack behind because he wanted Rose to himself, without an established male to distract her while she adjusted to his own change. It adds to the OT2.5 that the Doctor wouldn’t be happy for J/R.

  7. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta

    So I postulate that the Doctor didn’t really leave Jack because he was wrong. He left Jack behind because he wanted Rose to himself, without an established male to distract her while she adjusted to his own change.
    That’s the best explanation of that I’ve heard yet.

  8. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    Yes, and to be honest I suspected it all along, though I can see why they wouldn’t push it on a show with a fairly asexual history and a gay-friendly ethos. And I’d love to see that tackled at some point, maybe when/if Rose comes back. If she encounters Jack before the Doctor it could be fascinating.

  9. Re: I can see OT2.5
    I agree that Rose is (or maybe was) flawed, and one of her flaws was when her loving and empathetic nature made her too ready to accept the limitations of those she loved. And for me, that’s the place for Jack. He just stops the Doctor getting too up himself, but also he’s been through similar experiences, and that gives him a credibility when he’s calling the Doctor in on his shit.

  10. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta

    Yes, and to be honest I suspected it all along … and I’d love to see that tackled at some point
    It’d make a good plot for some kind of fic, actually; I think I can see at least a drabble in that, and probably plenty more.

  11. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    Can you imagine if the Utopia ‘door discussion’ went a little differently?
    Jack: Why did you leave me behind?
    Ten: Because I wanted Rose all to myself, and looking a little different I didn’t want competition until she accepted it was still me
    Jack: … And I looked up to you.
    Ten: Of course, I did it for Rose. It would have destroyed her knowing what she did to you, having you on board right away.
    Jack: You could have come back for me when she was ready.
    Ten: Haven’t you finished priming the engines, yet?
    And kids, the moral of the story is, it’s okay to leave your friends behind for the person you fancy(!)
    Oh, and you’re writing my ‘Rose on the Valiant’ story. 🙂 Rose and Jack do get some time alone, and the discussion goes along the lines of
    Rose: The TARDIS hated you, so we couldn’t come back.
    Jack: Really? He said it was because I was wrong.
    Rose: I’m sorry for what I did to you.
    Jack: Rose. You’re still worth dying for. Over and over again. But if the TARDIS hates me, then I can’t travel with you again. Pity, I thought it was because the Doctor didn’t want me competing for your affections.
    Rose: If there’s something I’ve learned from the Doctor, it’s that you can love more than one person at a time.
    I need to get a life outside of Doctor Who…

  12. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    I got a very strong vibe from that scene in Utopia that the Doctor’s prejudice was being used as a metaphor for homophobia. Much of the language was very reminiscent of the process of “coming out”. Seeing as two of the people involved in workshopping it are openly, even flamboyantly, gay, that’s a distinct possibility. I’m not sure it’s the one that works best in plot terms, however.

  13. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    Yes, I got that vibe too. I don’t know if Doctor Who is often used as a political soapbox, but I thought the ‘homophobic’ element to the door scene in Utopia was very ham fisted. Perhaps more so than the Master assassinating the US President, as I can explain that away in canon.
    The thing is, the Doctor changes his mind about his prejudice very quickly. Too quickly for my tastes, but for the whole season the Doctor makes whimsical emotional decisions, it seems. Perhaps the Doctor’s acceptance of Jack’s ‘wrongness’ is a prelude to him accepting the Master’s wrongness.

  14. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta

    I got a very strong vibe from that scene in Utopia that the Doctor’s prejudice was being used as a metaphor for homophobia.
    Yes, I had that impression also (then again, it wasn’t exactly subtle).

  15. Re: I can see OT2.5 + meta
    Whimsical emotional decisions abound in the Dalek two-parter as well, all apparently somewhat OOC for someone who is capable of coming up with a strategy to defeat the Master within moments, and then work towards it in the absence of any confirmation that it’s being successfully pursued by others, for a whole year.
    As so often with DW, you’re left wondering whether it’s the Doctor or the writers that are all over the place.

  16. Well, I’m here now 😉 And, as I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t really agree that the Doctor would be jealous of Jack and Rose as a couple. Though I’ll preface everything else I say by adding that these are all interpretations, based on, to some extent, what we’d like the characters to be and how we perceive what we see on-screen. For example, there are people who saw huge chemistry with Nine and Rose, saw none with Ten and Rose, and saw lots between Ten and Martha. There are Ten/Rose shippers completely unable to see Nine/Rose chemistry. And so on, and so on.
    I do see Jack/Rose, and my ‘ideal’ way for Rose to have left the Doctor would have been for her to end up with Jack – it would have to have been, as ‘s latest story (over on ) suggested, because Rose simply couldn’t keep up with the Doctor any more. I also see Doctor/Jack, and even more so after Utopia. The way the Doctor and Jack talked about Rose in that, and in particular their expressions/body language, made clear to me that they were both in love with her and, more important, both accepted (and were completely comfortable with) the fact that they were both in love with her. You acknowledged that very nicely in Safe Harbour, of course.
    Now, of course there’s a difference between OT3, and the occasional twosomes within an OT3, and an exclusive relationship between two people that leaves the third out in the cold (or even OT3 plus one occasional couple, with the other two not allowed to be together). I could see Jack being resigned to being out in the cold if the Doctor and Rose were together. He’d accept it because they had each other first and he knew how they felt about each other right from the start. It’d hurt him, and I think he wouldn’t stick around them if they were the couple and he the best friend on the side.
    The Doctor’s reaction to Rose and Jack? Yes, I’d agree that he’d be hurt. And, yes, he’d probably want to walk away and never come back (I don’t know if you’ve read chapter 1 of my Defenders – sequel to Guardians yet). But if they made clear that they both want him too… I think he’d come around quickly enough once he was persuaded. If it was an OT3 first, or Doctor/Rose first and Jack then invited into their bed, then it’s either an equal relationship or it’s not. If he’s free to sleep with Jack, but Rose isn’t, I’d think the two of them would make their feelings known on the inequality of that. If he’s also well aware that they love him and aren’t going to leave him, then I don’t see why he’d feel threatened by it.
    But, as I said, it’s all interpretation and circumstances. The one thing I don’t buy is the Doctor leaving Jack behind because he’s afraid Rose would turn to him because the Doctor’s regenerated. Yes, we know that’s why Jack was left out of S2 of DW, but that’s a scriptwriting decision, not a characterisation issue. RTD then had to explain the Doctor leaving Jack behind, and he came up with the notion of ‘wrongness’, which of course has all sorts of holes in it (though not as many as the Face of Boe idea :P). Whatever the real reason, or however we explain the ‘wrong’ idea, I just can’t see it as sexual jealousy, not in the slightest.
    Oh, and someone mentioned it being Rose who demanded that the Doctor rescue Jack. That’s certainly possible, and reconcilable with what we saw in TDD. The other interpretation is that this was the day when everybody lived. If the Doctor let Jack die, then everybody didn’t live, and he’d have lost that precious, wonderful, special feeling, and I think that’s what caused his glum look when Rose reminded him about Jack. (I think he also reversed time to save Jack, and I’m not sure he’d have done that only because Rose asked.).
    But then I’m an OT3er as well as a Doctor/Rose, Doctor/Jack and Jack/Rose shipper 😉

  17. People make the wrong decisions for a whole variety of reasons, and they aren’t always good at unpicking them and expressing them clearly (Particularly the Doctor).
    When I know I’ve let a friend down, it stays at the back of my mind along with a niggling resolve, generally one that fades over time, to put matters right. The longer it’s left, the harder it is to implement, because our actions become less justifiable.
    (Funnily enough, I had a friend who was going through her latest emotional crisis and begged me to drop in the night Utopia aired! I feigned a diplomatic illness and it took me months to get around to calling her. To this day, she doesn’t know the real reason for my decision that night).
    I tend to resist the kind of stories where the characters “just knew it was right” and that’s all it takes. It’s usually a more tortuous process than that. One of the reason the Doctor in this particular story is so vulnerable is that he’s not in his natural environment. The TARDIS is stuck and he’s having to live that ordinary life. And the TARDIS is a magical place, literally outside normal space and time. The rules that seem logical there don’t always transfer easily to the workaday world (if you can call TW that!). It’s a bit like your holiday romance showing up to ask you if you still feel the same way.
    I do like your reading of the end of TDD though. That was such a lovely moment, and so rare in the high body count world of Who.

  18. One of the reason the Doctor in this particular story is so vulnerable is that he’s not in his natural environment.
    Absolutely, and that’s what makes it easy for me to accept that he’s genuinely sexually jealous – or insecure – at the thought of Rose and Jack together without him: because here there’s the very real possibility that they could find they prefer being together alone without him. They’ve got more in common with each other than with him, being human, and right now he doesn’t have the TARDIS and travel throughout time and space to offer as the big inducement to stay with him. That’s where I can really see the insecurity settling in.
    But on board the TARDIS, in a situation where the three of them together are already lovers and he and Jack were lovers to start with, I couldn’t see him having the same degree of insecurity about it all.
    Incidentally, one thing that’s not clear in your story (and I know you don’t want to get into the detail of their sex life, and other than in the context of this discussion it’s completely irrelevant) is whether Rose and Jack have had sex at all. They’ve shared beds – and a Jacuzzi – as a threesome, but it’s unclear whether Jack and Rose have gone beyond kissing and touching with each other. So is he jealous at the thought of them doing alone what they’ve only done with him present, or have they never done it at all?
    As for the end of TDD, that rarity is what makes the moment so very special for the Doctor. His joy in it is almost beyond words. It’s such a wonderful outcome for him that he has to save Jack, even though it means, in effect, turning back time to do it – to keep that perfect everybody lives moment. And he must have gone back in time, because Jack had three minutes from the time he teleported with the bomb. After he disappears, the Doctor ’emails the upgrade’, talks to Doctor Constantine, talks to Nancy and Jamie, sorts out the nanogenes, and then he and Rose walk back to the TARDIS – which has to be some distance away. Then he’s dancing around, all excited, until Rose reminds him about Jack. My guess is that’s anything from twenty to forty minutes from the moment Jack disappears… so he was already dead.

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